EU leaders bid farewell to German Chancellor Angela Merkel with ‘space egg’
It has been compared by critics to the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies, or a crushed Pokemon ball.
But the young artist behind a special leaving gift from EU leaders to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her final summit on Friday said he found the comparisons on Twitter funny and was “honored” to to have been chosen.
The design by Franco-Dutch designer Maxim Duterre was chosen by EU chief Charles Michel to create the plexiglass sculpture, which represents the oval seat of the European Council in Brussels, nicknamed “the space egg”.
“I haven’t seen Twitter yet but I can see the resemblance. It’s funny,” Duterre told AFP when asked about the comparison to JRR Tolkien’s fantasy novels.
Instead of the giant who sees all the evil in the Lord of the Rings films, the sculpture is meant to be an “artistic impression” of the building where the peaks stand, he said.
It features a brass navigation instrument to show the EU as a “governing body” and the plexiglass sphere as a “representation of the European people”, the 23-year-old added.
EU leaders gave Merkel a standing ovation at her 107th and final summit after a 16-year Gandalfesque reign that saw her guide the bloc through major ups and downs.
Michel greeted it as a “monument” before giving him the plexiglass cube.
Outgoing Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven also received one of the paperweight-sized gifts.
“For me, Merkel has always been there, since I was little, so being able to do something like that is strange, it’s unreal,” said Duterre, who grew up in Belgium but now has a studio in the Netherlands. .
Duterre was recommended by the mother of an elementary school classmate who worked in the EU to design the gift – which he said he sold for 150 euros ($ 175) each.
âThere has been a lot of positive feedback,â he added.
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